Preparing you home for winter is an important step as the temperature begins to drop. The harsh temperatures and increased precipitation of winter can be tough on a house, so make sure you're ready for the test by following these basic tips.
As the days begin to get cooler, it's time to cover and store all your outdoor tools and furniture. Even though outdoor furniture is hearty enough to stand up to lots of adverse weather, you can prolong its life and condition by simply placing it under the carport or in the garage. Tools aren't nearly as tough. Wipe down shovels, garden hoses, lawn tractors and other garden equipment and move it to a backyard shed or the garage.
Wrap all exposed pipes with insulation to prevent freezing. Your water heater should also have an insulation blanket around it to prevent heat loss. If it doesn't, make sure to pick one up from your local home store.
Save energy and keep heat inside by sealing your windows. Move a lit candle around the edge of the window to determine where the leaks are -- when the candle flickers, you know that air is getting through. Use caulk or foam sealant to close these gaps before the temperature drops even more.
After all the leaves have fallen, pick an afternoon to clean out your gutters. Don gloves to fish out all the debris from the gutters and then use your garden hose to rinse out downspouts and any remaining gunk. If you fail to remove debris, it's likely to freeze over the course of the winter, damaging your gutter system.
Before you kick on the furnace or light a cozy fire, check to make sure your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are in perfect working order. Any system that is between five and ten years old should be replaced with a newer model.